Monday, November 30, 2015

Review: "The Avengers"

Usually, before I review, I make some kind of setup comment before using a picture to deliver a punchline. Not today.

Today feels more like a pun-day.

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Recap/Review: Gotham Girls "Gotham Noir"

Leaning back in my chair, I looked at the clock. 3:35 PM. It was a cold November day, as it had been for the past few days. Around my desk were assorted candy wrappers. The end of the cheap post-Halloween candy. Between them, my laptop sat. And waited. Two programs were open. Microsoft Word and Firefox. On the right, a blank canvas awaiting my thoughts. On the left, something I didn’t want to think about.

Gotham Girls.

I looked at the clock again. 3:36.

With nothing better to do, I cracked my knuckles and got to work.
While also wishing I had something better to do.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Avengers Review Postponed

(UPDATED)
It'll go up Monday. Sorry for the inconvenience.

Tuesday, I'll have explanations and announcements.

See you then.

Recap: "The Avengers" Part 3: Earth's Mightiest Heroes

No wonder they like to keep saying "Avengers assemble." Apparently, it takes them almost two hours to do it.

If they had assembled in Act One, Loki would be defeated by now.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Recap: "The Avengers" Part 2: Initiative

And now, about 80% of the Avengers will assemble. Dang it, Hawkeye, stop playing for the other team!

...that's not what I meant.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Recap: "The Avengers" Part 1: Assemble

Yeah, I'm going to warn you all right now. There was a lot for me to talk about. I mean, this is the culmination of five previous movies. This is the big finale of Phase 1.

And, this being the internet, if I leave anything out, I'll never hear the end of it.

So let's take a look at the largest crossover in film history and see whether it holds up after the initial amazement over the idea wears off.

No pressure, or anything.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Recap: "The Avengers" Intro

Last Hanukkah, I began my look at the Marvel Cinematic Universe with Iron Man. Since then, I moved on to The Incredible Hulk, Iron Man 2, Thor, Captain America: The First Avenger, and I now find myself here at the end.

Well, not the final end. Marvel’s going to draw out this money printer for as long as humanly possible, and we all know it.

But Marvel was about to do something completely unprecedented. Sure, there had been film crossovers before. AVP, Freddy vs. Jason, and Quentin Tarantino’s movieverse, for a few examples. But never before had anyone made four completely different movies with different characters for the purpose of teaming them all up in a big finale.

The result? Near-universal praise.

But among the voices celebrating the film’s action, humor, and heart, there were a few small voices trying desperately to be heard. These outnumbered voices managed to band together and eventually make their message heard. “It’s not that good.”

Do these people have a valid case to make? Perhaps. But I figure that the biggest crossover in comic history was something worth being thankful for. Which is why I'm doing this in November instead of during Christmas.

But before I can examine the film itself, I’ll need to go over exactly how this crossover went from being just a crazy idea to a new paradigm in filmmaking. Whether we like it or not.

Seriously, they’re trying to turn everything into a “Cinematic Universe.”

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Review: Back to the Future Trilogy

First and foremost, I have neither the time nor the inclination to come up with a map of all the Back to the Future timelines, but luckily, the internet’s beaten me to it. Here’s one I’ve borrowed from the Back to the Future wiki.

Thanks, internet!
Now, I struggled for a little bit on exactly how I was going to talk about this trilogy. I mean, sure, I’ve reviewed entire seasons of shows at once, and I’ll even review Phase 1 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe once I get to the end of it…. But there are only three movies to talk about. And I’ve already reviewed each one individually.

But when it comes down to it, for these three movies in particular, the most important thing I can talk about is the journey. When it all comes down to it, this trilogy is only about two people. Doc and Marty. So that’s probably a good place to start.

Get away from there, Clara! I said two people!

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Review: Gravity Falls "Dipper vs. Manliness'

You know, when you really think about it, this episode isn’t the first time Disney’s given us a training montage based on the idea of developing manliness. You know, being as swift as the coursing river, with all the force of a great typhoon, with all the strength of a raging fire, and mysterious as the dark side of the moon.

It’s pretty ironic that Mulan succeeds at traditional masculinity to a greater degree than Dipper.

Recap: Gravity Falls "Dipper vs. Manliness"

Let's face it, "Dipper vs. Manliness" is the most unfair match-up until... well, untill Dipper gets matched up with the next unfair opponent. But I'm getting ahead of myself. Let's go watch a small boy have adventures in puberty!

...Okay, that might have come out a bit wrong.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Review: Avengers: EMH "Masters of Evil"

Well, this episode tried to deliver a satisfying payoff to the ongoing buildup, but kind of fell short. Reminds me of modern Doctor Who, in a way....

Along with the fact that the Doctor also likes to taste random things.

Recap: Avengers: EMH "Masters of Evil"

Man, doesn't "Masters of Evil" sound like some kind of show that would be on a supervillain-themed National Geographic Channel, alongside Treehouse Masters, Tanked, and a conspicuous absence of anything marginally related to things people associate with National Geographic?

Truly, the real Masters of Evil are the ones behind National Geographic's decline. And the cancellation of the DC Nation. And the cancellation of the third Tron movie.

Actually, last last one happened because of the poor box-office performance of Tomorrowland. So I'm choosing to blame all of the above on George Clooney.

Apparently, ruining Batman wasn't enough for him.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Recap/Review: Gotham Girls "Catsitter"

So, some of you might remember that a while back, my cat passed away. Well, since my other cat was getting noticeably lonely, we got her a friend.

This is Schroeder. He's called that because he won't stay off my keyboard.
Yeah, he can be a bit of a hassle. He like to climb inside my bed frame, gets on my keyboard, and likes to hide behind corners and ambush people's knees as they walk by.

Today, Harley Quinn experiences something a bit worse than that.

See? This totally wasn't just an excuse to talk about my new cat.

Friday, November 13, 2015

Review: "Back to the Future Part III"

If only Ronald Reagan had accepted the role of the 1885 Hill Valley mayor instead of turning it down. That would have gone along well with the references in the other two films. The filmmakers regretted that, Reagan regretted that, and audiences regretted that. Of course, audiences had more problems with this movie than that….

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Recap: "Back to the Future Part III" Part 3: End of the Line

The final act.

The conclusion to not only this film, but the two films beforehand.

And let's face it. This movie was never going to live up to people's expectations when it came to a fitting ending, simply because it was a Western. But will it be unexpectedly satisfying? Let's find out.

Seriously, though. Robot spider. Done.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Recap: "Back to the Future Part III" Part 2: A Match Made in Time

And so, Doc and Marty return to 1985 in the DeLorean without incident and dismantle it, the end.

Yeah, right. Maybe in the alternate reality where Marty's played by Eric Stoltz.

And where OJ Simpson landed the role of the Terminator. No, really, that almost happened.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Recap: "Back to the Future Part III" Part 1: Time After Time

Out of all the genres that went out of style, none seems as resistant to returning in force than the Western. Heck, even the swashbuckling genre had a resurgence with the Pirates of the Caribbean films. And when you factor in the fact that this was a pretty huge change in setting for the series....

Well, this movie looked doomed from the start.

So let's take a look at one of the first failed attempts to mix sci-fi and Westerns before Wild Wild West ended that particular sub-genre before it could even begin.

If Doc builds a giant robotic spider, I'm done.

Monday, November 9, 2015

Recap: "Back to the Future Part III" Intro

Well, here we are. The odd one out. Not “the bad one,” but the one that doesn’t quite fit with the others. But no story’s complete without an ending, so it’s time to take a look at the wrap-up to the beloved Back to the Future Trilogy.

So this is how the trilogy ends. Not with a bang, but with a "whaaaa?"

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Recap/Review: Gotham Girls "Bat'ing Cleanup"

So. Supergirl has her own show. Overall, people seem to like it, myself included, though it’s not without its critics. I don’t want to get into a huge debate, so I’m just going to say that what I like about it is its willingness to show a character balancing superheroics and a secret identity… without the typical super-angst. Whether she’s fighting aliens or deciding what dress to wear, she generally seems to be a happy person. And that’s pretty refreshing, especially when you look at something like Man of Steel.

But today, I’m going to take a look at the time when Gotham Girls did the same thing. But with Batgirl.

Who wants to start a petition for a live-action Batgirl show with me?

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Review: Doctor Who "Rose"

Russell T. Davies, the showrunner and writer of this episode, had a tall order to fill. In order for Doctor Who to finally be able to cement its return, this first episode would need to land like the TV Movie never could.

Boy, did it ever. Even with a leaked version available on every file-sharing site before the premiere (one of the first shows to be leaked like this), “Rose” had nearly 11 million viewers tuned in. Rave reviews were everywhere. The positive reception to this episode alone earned the show a Christmas Special and a second season.

And yet… I don’t much care for this episode.

Recap: Doctor Who "Rose"

Ladies, gentlemen, multi-sex, undecided or robot, as they say in the year 200,000. After a 16 year hiatus (if you ignore the TV movie), Doctor Who returned with the Revived Series, meant to earn back the old viewers while drawing in the new ones. As such, this episode would have to be a continuation to please the old fans, but if it got too bogged down in its own history, then it would be inaccessible for a new audience. You know, like people still tend to assume Doctor Who is.

So in the end, the plan was simple, but effective: Keep the basic facts of the show, but start fresh with new stories, new actors, and a reintroduction/exploration of the show's premise.

I've already gone over how to start watching Doctor Who, as well as all the issues that got the Classic Series cancelled in 1989. At some point in the future, I'll take a look at the false starts before the show got back on the air.

Including the attempt to continue the show as a Flash cartoon.
Yes, this was supposed to be an official continuation.
But today, we're talking about the time they finally succeeded.

The date was March 26th, 2005. Doctor Who returned a little over ten years ago. And since then, the title role has changed hands three times, companions have come and gone, and the Revived Series showrunner (Russell T. Davies) even handed the reigns over to another writer.

But what of this first outing for a fresh take on the old show? Sure, it was accessible for new fans, but was it any good? Will it be a masterpiece? Will it be a mess?

Well, grab your jelly babies and make sure not to blink, because the Doctor is back.

And it's absolutely fantastic.

Monday, November 2, 2015

Site News: November 2015

Well, another Halloween come and gone.

On the left, my pumpkin. On the right, my girlfriend's pumpkin.
So as the jack o' lanterns begin to rot....

Which I had in mind from the beginning when I carved my pumpkin.
I have three major announcements.
  1. Today's post has been postponed to tomorrow. Even with Daylight Savings giving me a little extra time, I was busier this Halloween weekend than I thought I would be. Which brings me to my second announcement....
  2. So, you know how in the past, I'd be all like "Sorry if I don't post as often this month?" Well, it's finally going to come true, to a small degree. From now on, there will be the occasional week with only Monday and Saturday posts. Though I'll still aim to do one film review per month, which takes me a week each, so I like to think it balances out.
I would like to make it abundantly clear that when I say "occasional," I do mean "occasional." Like, one week per month at most. An average month of the NewtCave features about six-to-ten Recap/Reviews and one week-long film Recap/Review, so this really won't make as much of a negative impact on my monthly output as it might seem.

There are a few reasons for this change, and it's been coming for a while.
  1. I want to avoid another burnout in the wake of my look at all three Back to the Future films.
  2. There are a couple other projects I've had on the back burner that I'd like to work on a bit more.
In the end, I'd like to avoid some of my more frantic posting. quite a few of my Reviews went up around 3 AM, only five hours before they go up.

So it's either a new schedule, or a hiatus. And if I go on hiatus... well, I'm not sure how easy it would be to get back into the swing of things, quite honestly.

But what's really important is this.

Don't worry. The NewtCave isn't going anywhere.

This month alone, I'll be continuing Doctor Who from where the TV movie left off, finishing up the Back to the Future trilogy, looking at an episode each of Gravity Falls, Avengers: EMH, and Agents of S.M.A.S.H., and also reviewing a certain Marvel film during Thanksgiving this year.

And don't worry, there's a convenient schedule in the upper right to make sure you're informed of what's scheduled when.

On a more minor note, earlier this year, I promised to add three non-comic book shows to my repertoire. Well, on second thought, Gravity Falls and Doctor Who are enough for now.

But in the end, this month will be business as usual for the NewtCave. And things kick off tomorrow!

See you then!